Below is my response to what I can only say was a most odd attack on me from a Labour Councillor which was published in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 24th February.
Councillor John Sayers (Labour – Park Ward) seems to be criticising me for things I am very much guilty of.
Yes I have campaigned for the number of Sefton Councillors to be reduced from 3 to 2 per ward to save the public purse money and no I did not succeeded in that aim because Labour Sefton councillors refused to support that campaign.
Yes I am guilty of being an environmental campaigner who is utterly horrified that Labour-run Sefton Council proposes to build on vast swathes of the highest grade of agricultural land in England which also happens to be a part of Sefton’s Green Belt.
It was not I that voted against reducing the number of councillors in Sefton and it was not I that voted for building on the highest grade of agricultural land. However, in both cases it was the Labour Group on Sefton Council voting against reducing the number of councillors and for building on the Green Belt.
So yes accuse me of wanting to save council tax payers money and of campaigning to save the environment but all I can say in response is I am guilty as charged.
Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lib Dem member of Lydiate Parish Council
The Champion newspaper published my reply in their edition of 9th March
The letter below was written in response to the lead article in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on 13th January entitled ‘Concerns at Local Plan put to Inquiry’
I read with mounting disbelief the representations made to the Planning Inspector by Maghull’s Labour councillors as reported in the Champion on 13th January.
Yes they were making all the right noises but hang on a minute it is Labour run Sefton Council that is trying to impose its appalling Local Plan on the Borough. What’s more when I was a member of Maghull Town Council Labour members would not vote to reject the Local Plan! Now all of sudden Labour has concerns.
Frankly, this say one thing and then say just about the opposite when Labour thinks folks will have forgotten about their original stance on a matter as important as this is appalling.
Having fought Sefton’s Local Plan, which proposes thousands of houses to be built on high grade agricultural land, areas that flood and Green Belt with Labour councillors supporting for the Plan I find Labour’s concern now very hollow indeed.
Let’s see Labour run Maghull Town Council propose that the Local Plan be completely rejected and for Labour run Sefton Council to do the same then Labour will have clearly done a welcome U turn. Warm words now giving the impression of concerns about the Plan mean nothing unless they actually reject it/withdraw it.
Cllr. Tony Robertson
This letter was significantly edited and published in the Champion on 27th January 2016
The Champion newspaper in its edition of 25th November carried an article where the present Leader of Sefton Council endorsed what I call Merseyside’s 3rd rate devolution deal. Here is my response to Cllr. Ian Maher……
Devolution powers so poor they are not worth having
Reacting to the Labour Leader of Sefton Council Cllr. Ian Mayer’s endorsement of the devolution deal for Merseyside the Borough’s former Lib Dem Council Leader Tony Robertson says the devolution deal for the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside is rubbish.
Tony, a long-time campaigner for devolution of powers from Government to the diverse communities of Sefton and Merseyside says the deal that Sefton Council voted for is poor and he sees nothing in it for Sefton or the Boroughs surrounding Liverpool.
“We get a Metro Mayor imposed on us, whom we will have to pay the wages of, for little or nothing in return that will be of any use to us.”
“We Lib Dems passionately believe in devolution of government powers to the lowest possible level of governance commensurate with the effective delivery of services for our diverse communities. However, that does not mean we will accept 3rd rate devolution – no control over the Police or the NHS like in Manchester comes to mind. But holding a gun to our head and being told you can only have your 3rd rate devolution powers if you accept a Metro Mayor to lord it over you is utterly ridiculous. We will not even get a referendum on these issues.”
“This is not devolution it is imposition and there’s nothing good going to come from this for the people of Sefton my view. I was delighted that the Lib Dem opposition Group on Sefton Council stood their ground and opposed this poor deal for the diverse communities of Sefton”
Editors Note – Tony was Leader of Sefton Council from 2004 until 2011
At the time of posting this article the Champion had not printed my opposing view.
Now call me an old misery guts if you like but I am not sure that Christmas decorations going up in November or early December is all that great.
You see they look good but by the time we finally get to Christmas haven’t we heard just a few too many Christmas songs and seen too many decorations?
The way we are going Christmas will soon last 2 months, if we are not there already!
Anyway enough of my muttering, here’s a little bit of Lydiate Christmas for you as the lights on the holly tree (yes you read that correctly – holly tree) were switched on today.
Why a holly tree? Well it was already growing there, was about the right size and shape so what the hell let’s dress it as a Christmas tree thought the Parish Council. What’s more it is a little more environmentally friendly than chopping down a large mature pine tree and cheaper for Lydiate’s ‘hard working families’. Yes I know that phrase grates against me as well but I threw it in to remind all politicians to pledge not to say it again in 2016!
Goodness me am I turning this blog site into a ‘One man and his dog’ type thing? Sorry Jim Sharpe (and the Champion newspaper), I think you should have written this piece or maybe you did!
My letter to the Champion newspaper following the rather late conversion to this cause by the rump of Tory councillors left on Sefton Council. The article in the Champion dated 18th November refers.
I note that Conservative Cllr. Terry Jones now wants to reduce the number of Sefton councillors; why the sudden conversion to this cause?
Lib Dem councillors have proposed this a number of times but it has not gained a majority on the Council, not least because Labour want to keep all their troops happy and in jobs.
If the Tories had run with this some years ago before Labour gained a majority maybe it could have been a done deal by now. Talk about trying to jump on a band wagon long after it has passed by!
The Champion printed the letter in their edition of 9th December 2015.
The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library stand ripe for redevelopment in the heart of Maghull.
Now call me an old cynic if you like but a community engagement process that was launched in the Aintree & Maghull Champion on Wednesday 4th November and ended just after 10am on Thursday 5th November is just a little short. But even that ridiculously short period depended on your copy of the Champion being delivered on the 4th November. Are we being played silly beggars with; you can bet your bottom dollar we are!
My previous postings on this subject refer at:-
This is what the Champion newspaper article of 4th November said:-
Click on the article to enlarge it
‘The Cabinet now have the chance to carry out a full review of the sell-off of these community assets while taking into account evidence from the emerging Neighbourhood Plan’ and ‘The key is to ensure people in this community have a say’ are the interesting quotes from the Champion article because it seems as though Sefton’s all-powerful Labour Cabinet gave the promises of Maghull’s back bench Labour councillors the two finger salute literally hours after they were published in the paper! The Labour big guns simply confirmed their original decision to sell off the land at the Cabinet meeting on 5th November and in doing so humiliated their fellow comrades. Clearly Sefton Labour’s factions have fallen out big time.
But we can only assume that the Maghull Labour back bencher’s did not know that their lords and masters were going to make fools of them, why else would they use the pages of the Champion to launch a community consultation process which, in effect, could never happen?
I do hope that Champion is not being used to fight Labour’s internal battles and it will be interesting to see how the paper reacts to this bizarre turn of events.